You may expect your insurance company to take care of you after a crash, but that isn’t how the system actually works. The purpose of carrying car insurance is actually to protect yourself from liability, not necessarily to protect yourself from crash-related expenses.
Many people don’t realize this until they experience a collision caused by another driver. At that point, they will learn that they are actually dependent on the coverage someone else carries to pay for their costs after a wreck.
California does require property damage liability coverage from everyone on the roads. Will it be enough to help you fix your car after a crash?
California does not require much property damage coverage
Although there are many people driving nice vehicles on the California roads and the average price of even used vehicles has continued to rise in recent years, California only requires $5,000 of property damage liability coverage. You won’t be able to buy a used vehicle, let alone replace a newer one, with only $5,000.
Some drivers do pay for more coverage than that, and you can potentially claim as much as the cost of the repairs, up to the maximum amount of coverage the other person carries.
If you carry collision coverage or underinsured motorist protection, then you may be able to make a claim against your own policy after a crash. Otherwise, your only options will include the other driver’s insurance and possibly a civil lawsuit.
Understanding your rights after a motor vehicle wreck totals or seriously damages your vehicle can help you get your car back into working order without suffering further losses.